Religion in Colorado City
This is the tale of a little community in Colorado City.
As we entered Colorado City I spotted a billboard for free community college courses. It left an impression because everyone was white and dressed in white. I immediately thought it must be a Christian school. I didn’t know it then but this moment sets the scene for what we learnt about the shocking history of this small town.
We arrived at our Airbnb and were warmly greeted by the host. The family staying here are absolute gold. They helped us work out what places to see and gave us local insights for the kids.
As our conversations developed they revealed a dark past to the city if Colorado.
For some reason, I’m not sure when, the government was giving away land to anyone who would farm it. Colorado City was one of these areas and it was families from The Church of Latter Day Saints that moves here. They had large families, were good people that wanted to live a devout life following their faith and they thrived.
Unfortunately a few decades ago, one of their senior church leaders abused his position and imposed a dictatorial power over the community. He destroyed families by ripping fathers, mothers and children from one another based on his perception of threat to his role. He changed rules to suit his corrupt ways. He stole money and property from people to add to his own wealth. And he sexually violated members of the church. This one person caused so much destruction and it was our hosts family that was one of the first twenty families devastated by this scandal.
Twenty years on they were still rebuilding their lives, rebuilding their communities and slowly rebuilding their families.
The impact on their faith was varied. Some still had faith in their religion. Some sought God in other religions. Some believed in God but no longer committed to a religion. Some wanted nothing more to do with God or religion.